Stay of Execution

In the final hour, as a mechanic stood poised to take our ’87 pickup off the motor oil drip and rip the battery from it’s belly….as a chop shop waited to extract the vital organs… the phone rang.

“Do whatever it takes to save Chitty! Save our truck!”

Chitty’s been on life support in West Virginia ever since he tried to commit suicide in September. One fine sunny morning in early autumn, as Martin was en route to go kayaking, Chitty suffered a total brake failure. Fortunately the incident occurred on a back road, sending Martin on a cartoonish jaunt through the woods; a hilly incline ultimately stopped Chitty’s free fall. But a subsequent tow to a garage revealed more than brake problems.

And that’s when we decided to pull the plug on our faithful pickup.

But in the final hour we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t part with our trusty ride to the dump, our summer booze bus, our beacon of good will (Drivers can’t help but wave when they pass our dented blue bomber.)

So last weekend Chitty returned home. With new brake pads, new brake hoses and custom fabricated brake lines, as well as other new parts (A caliper? What is that?) Chitty is back at home and good as new.

Except that he’s far from new. He’s a 22-year-old truck with a case of the stalls — thanks to an ever-sticky carburetor — and he bolts off at 10 mph each time you step off the brake. He’s still got problems.

But he’s our problem.